MY DAMN CHANNEL -- My 5th Birthday Love Letter
I'm sharing a love letter with you on the 5th Birthday of www.MyDamnChannel.com.
I'm flying home from the 30th Birthday of "Just for Laughs" in Montreal -- the annual, best family reunion in comedy. I've just spent 4 daze and nights with many of the world's best comic minds -- and I'm heading into our birthday re-inspired to keep giving you more.
Everything everyone said about being an entrepreneur has turned out to be true. It's been much more rewarding to not work inside the old corporate monoliths of my past: MTV, VH1, CBS. But I'd never be here without remembering everything I learned there. It's been much harder work to create and run my own business -- the hours are endless -- the pressure to win for everyone who believes in us and works with us is a weight I've tried to carry with honor every day since leaving people like Mr. Moonves, Mr. Redstone, and their worlds 6 years ago.
We launched My Damn Channel July 31. 2007 to create a new destination for comedy fans and a new home for talent to get the freedom, money, production, distribution and promotion they deserve. Don Was still runs our music channel too. YouTube changed the world. Technology empowered every single content creator to finally get the equipment and distribution we needed to get our art seen by the masses without having to break down the walls of major television networks.
Most new companies never make it 5 years. We made it. Thank you for being part of this family and for supporting our simple mathematical premise: The Best Talent + The Best Original Entertainment = Big Audiences + Big Business.
From our first minute, we trusted smart artists to create their best work. We trusted smart fans to discern the difference between schlock and great video worthy of your views, likes, comments, and shares. This entire dream evaporates without you.
Smart advertisers trust us to deliver excellent talent, creative, production, distribution and promotion alongside every marketing dollar they spend to reach millions in a whole new way.
Our backers trust us never to raise too much or spend too much. They trust us to win big. Those backers include saints we love and many of our closest friends and family members.
To every artist, fan, advertiser, backer and business partner that's been with us since 2007 - thank you for believing and thank you for building the future of entertainment.
My Damn Channel would never have made it to our 5th birthday -- we'd never have even launched without WARREN CHAO. He's my Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer, and the man who proves every single day that he's the most dedicated, brilliant, multi-talented executive in media. When I hatched the My Damn Channel idea in 2006, I went looking for the one person who could embody most of the things I was missing to take this dream from inception to glory. Warren is a Harvard graduate, a lawyer, a venture capitalist, a technologist, a business development executive and the only man in the world I'd trust to manage the math and the money. I want to thank Warren and his family for their trust as we all work every day to turn that trust into success.
Every artist who's ever had a video on My Damn Channel shares our belief that show business is best when TALENT is in charge. We vow to continue to put as many of you in charge of your art as we possibly can. We vow to continue to share your art with as many humans as possible. And yes...we vow to continue to share the cash.
Every person who's ever worked inside My Damn Channel has brought their energy, spirit, sweat, brain and backbone to help build an idea and a business that's grown gradually and consistently bigger every year. We worked together to try to avoid most of the mistakes of the first Internet bubble more than a decade ago. We worked tirelessly to outlast dozens of companies who raised countless millions to try to get this right. We worked together passionately to bring us onto the same stage as much deeper-pocketed, excellent pals like Funny or Die and College Humor. If you're on our team right now, you know that 2012 is the inflection point. This is the year when premium original content became the Queen and King at the prom. This is the year when our phones started ringing off the hook. This is the year we launched My Damn Channel LIVE every weekday afternoon with YouTube. This is the time when the great work you've done begins to reap more of the rewards you've earned.
Thank YOU again for every minute you've helped everyone at My Damn Channel.
Please share our link: www.MyDamnChannel.com
Please subscribe here: www.YouTube.com/MyDamnChannel
Please continue to let me know what you think of all that's good/bad/ugly -- and how we can work together.
Great art is usually reliant on breaking the rules. I apologize for breaking the rule to "keep it short" - but I couldn't let this 5th birthday go by without one final story:
My wife and I have twins who will also soon turn "5." My youngest daughter nearly broke my heart when she asked today why I couldn't have a job that got me home at 3 o'clock in the afternoon every day. She once asked me why I couldn't be a mailman - since he seemed to have to only work in the morning. The hours we all put into a career can be ridiculous and wrong. Jessie: I hope you find this one day and know that this was the night when your Dad started getting so good at his job making videos that he was home more with you and your sister and your brother and your most beautiful and loving mother.
Respect and Love,
(This note appeared originally on Rob Barnett's Facebook Page, 7/31/12